Manual Sonship With God—Sharing The Fathers Perfection. Part 4: The Fathers Ultimate Plan

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His father Terah moved the family north to Haran Genesis When did the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob live?

When Abram was 75 years old, God told him to move to Canaan. He did that with His wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and their followers Genesis In chapter 15 of Genesis we read that God promised Abram his descendants would be as numerous as the stars of the sky. Abraham believed God. The faith made Abram righteous: he became in the right with God, he received what we call sanctifying grace.

Paul, in Galatians and all of chapter 4 of Romans, says we become children of Abraham by imitating his faith, and in that way we too are justified. Later we will see what St. Paul means by faith. Briefly, it includes belief in what God teaches, confidence in His promises, obedience to God's commands, and love. But St. Paul stresses that Abraham got this justification even before God commanded him to be circumcised, for God did not order that until later, in chapter 17 of Genesis.

In that chapter, we read that God changed the name to Abraham from Abram, and changed his wife's name to Sarah. This happened when Abraham was 99 years ago, and Sarah was She had been sterile, unable to have children, all her life. Yet God promised that in the next year she would have a son, Isaac, and that through him Abraham would be the father of many nations.

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Sometime later, when Isaac was still a young boy, God ordered Abraham Genesis chapter 22 to offer Isaac as a sacrifice on a certain mountain. Abraham did not hesitate, even though this seemed to clash with the promise that many nations would come from him through Isaac. He went ahead, and was on the point of actually killing Isaac, when an angel told him to stop. He then offered a ram, who was stuck in the bushes, in place of his son.

This was magnificent faith which held on even when it seemed impossible to believe. Toward the end of his life, Abraham arranged to have Isaac marry one of his kinsfolk, Rebekah Genesis Abraham left all his possessions to Isaac, and died at the age of Genesis Isaac had twin sons, Esau and Jacob. God changed Isaac's name to Israel, which became the name of all the Hebrew people Genesis Jacob had twelve sons, each of whom was the head of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. One of the most beautiful and moving stories in Scripture was that of Joseph, the older of the two sons of Jacob by Rachel.

Joseph was favored by his Father.

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So his brothers became jealous of him and sold him as a slave into Egypt. There he was put into prison for refusing the advances of the wife of his owner, for she charged him with exactly what he had refused. In prison he was able to interpret dreams of two of the Pharaoh's former servants. One was executed, the other restored to favor.

The one who was restored forgot Joseph until the King himself had strange dreams. So they called Joseph was summoned. He said the dreams meant 7 years of great crops were coming, and then seven years of famine.

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Joseph said they should save grain in the 7 rich years. Pharaoh made him Vizier, that is, second in command in Egypt. When the famine came, Joseph's aged father had to send his brothers to Egypt for grain. They did not recognize Joseph, dressed as the powerful Vizier. He put them to some tests, but finally in a most dramatic scene said: "I am Joseph, your brother. The Pharaoh invited Jacob and the whole tribe to move to Egypt, to Goshen.

Jacob however had asked to be buried in Canaan with Abraham and Isaac. Joseph did as his Father asked. Before dying, Jacob gave a blessing to each of his sons, and foretold about Judah Genesis This prophecy was fulfilled most dramatically! For there always was some kind of ruler from the tribe of Judah until 41 B. Herod was supposed to follow the Jewish religion, but was not from the tribe of Judah. By birth he was half Arab, half Idumean. At this point let us say something about the marvelous sweep of our Father's plans, and the prophecies over the whole time of the Old Testament.

We are going to get help from some ancient Jewish documents called Targums, to understand the prophecies. These were old Aramaic translations of the Scriptures, which were free in their language, and filled in interpretations to show how to understand the prophecies.

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We know the Jews saw these things without seeing them fulfilled in Christ, for they rejected Him. We know that after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A. Even then they did not speak of most of the ancient prophecies, only that he should be of the line of David. So we can be sure these Targum interpretations were very early, before 70 AD, for they could not have been written in the centuries when the Jews no longer cared to speak of the Messiah.

Yet the Targums saw the Messiah in very many places in the Old Testament. Here are the chief ones. Right after the fall of Adam and Eve, God promised Genesis : "I will put enmity between you [the serpent] and the woman, between your offspring and hers. He will strike at your head, you will strike at his heel. Today the Church cf. When the Jews were near to the promised land after their long wandering, the King of Moab hired a pagan prophet, Balaam, Numbers to curse the Jews.

But Balaam, moved by God, could not curse them, instead he blessed them, and foretold that a star would arise out of Jacob. The Targums know this was the Messiah.

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Centuries later, sometime before B. Now since the large passage of Isaiah through is called and is, the Book of Emmanuel, it is clear that the child of Isaiah 7. But we know that the great teacher Hillel of the time of Christ did say it talked about the Messiah. We know that later Jews stopped calling it Messianic, to try to oppose the Christian use of the text. When the Magi came to Jerusalem to ask where the new King was to be born, Herod called in the Jewish theologians.

They had no difficulty replying it was at Bethlehem, according to the prophet Micah The Targum also knew that Isaiah 53, — the prophecy of the Passion — was messianic, though again in their eagerness to oppose Christ, they later distorted it. In that Psalm verses 17 say: "They have pierced my hands and my feet.

Further, if even the Jews could see so much in these prophecies, it is evident that Our Lady, full of grace, would see it all the more easily.

For when the Archangel told her Lk that her Son would reign over the house of Jacob forever, she could not miss the fact that He was to be the Messiah. Jews in general then said the Messiah would reign forever. Easily the greatest human figure in the Old Testament was Moses, who is mentioned 80 times in the Old Testament, more than any other person. He came from the tribe of Levi, which was to be the priestly tribe.

When a new dynasty of Pharaohs came in Egypt that did not remember the great things Joseph had done, the Pharaoh began to oppress the Jews. He even ordered all boy babies to be killed. But the mother of Moses put him into a basket on the edge of the Nile.

There the daughter of the Pharaoh found him, and raised him as her own. Later Moses left the royal court, and went to Midian, where God appeared to him in a burning bush Exodus 3 , revealed His name, and told him to go to the Pharaoh to deliver the people of Israel from slavery.

It took ten plagues to make Pharaoh willing to release them. After this Moses led them through the Red Sea, which miraculously opened for them.